November 2, 2022 / Marjoram
Stop Refreshing and Start Reframing
Complex B2B brands sometimes reach a perplexing point of stasis. They know something isn’t working with their marketing…but what, exactly? Is the website so ineffective or outdated that they actively avoid it during sales conversations? Is the message not cutting through—or worse, nonexistent? One thing they know for sure is that the impression they’re making on potential customers isn’t reflective of who they are or what they stand for.
Lacking a clear diagnosis of the real issues, many B2B leaders lean into easily identifiable tactical issues:
- “Our website sucks. We need to redo it.”
- “Our logo is outdated. We need to redesign it.”
- “Our identity is stale. We need to refresh it.”
But that’s putting the focus in the wrong place. It’s like painting the house or changing the landscaping when the foundation is crumbling. (The proverbial lipstick on a pig.)
In a genuine attempt to better connect with their customers, B2B brands seek simple fixes for their digital marketing programs. However, in doing so, it’s easy for them to overlook the fundamental issues impacting their ability to educate, attract, and engage potential prospects.
Instead of rushing into (re)action, they’ll benefit from taking a step back to evaluate the effectiveness of their underlying marketing foundation. Before taking on big projects like a website redesign or a brand refresh, they need to reframe the foundational elements of their brand marketing.
Identity Crisis: Your Brand and Today’s B2B Consumers
B2C brands devote a considerable amount of time and effort to crafting and shaping their public personas. For most industrial and ingredient brands, however, a purposeful, customer-focused approach to branding does not rank nearly as high on the priority scale—which is one of the reasons B2B websites often end up talking to internal audiences instead of prospective customers.
It’s not unusual for B2B homepages to greet visitors with dense product language and boasts of technical expertise. While product specs and engineering-speak are welcome last steps of the sales process, your website is a marketing (not sales) instrument — one best used to entice prospective customers to the buying journey.
To stand out in an often-crowded competitive field, your message can’t lead with what you make. An effective message leads with what you make possible for your customers.
Reevaluating Your Brand Marketing
Today’s marketplace expects you to prioritize the point of view of the buyer, their problems and pain points. A redesigned website, logo, or visual style is not going to make much of a difference if you’re only going to use it as a vehicle for the same old, product-first message. Instead, you need to speak from an outside-to-in perspective, quickly answering the primary question prospective buyers are asking: “Can you solve my problem?”
So, how do you reposition your brand in the eyes of your target audience?
Reframing your brand marketing must start at the fundamental level. It must begin with an understanding of your future customers and a commitment to meeting their needs. The goal of a brand reframing is to make your products or solutions more relevant and accessible to your target audience. Find a friendly, informative way to speak clearly about what pain your product can alleviate and you’ll position your brand positively in their mind.
Reframing Before Refreshing
Constructing a new house starts with a plan and a strong foundation. You would never start with the roof when there are no walls to support it. Reframing your brand puts the focus in the right place—building the framework of who you are and why anyone should care about you.
Reframing precedes any tactical execution because it’s the foundation that those elements are built on. So, before you refresh a new logo or redo your website, first figure out what you’re communicating and optimize your new user experience around that message.
This means putting your brand marketing (back) on the drawing board.
Reframe Your Brand Marketing in 4 Steps
Complexity in brand and product messaging is a common pitfall afflicting B2B websites. As is homepage copy that sings the praises of internal innovations and excellence, rather than elevating the solutions that matter most to your real audience: the one buying your solutions. How do you replace ineffective messages with something that will get your prospects to stick around, or better yet, convert?
At Marjoram, we use a four-step process to help our clients reframe their brand marketing and drive high-quality digital prospect experiences.
We dig deep to help you uncover what’s unique about you, what separates you from your competitors, and how it all impacts the products or solutions your customers are searching for. This process entails stakeholder interviews, an assessment of existing branding and messaging guidelines, and a review of all marketing and communication strategies. To build context, we also look at how your competitors approach similar conversations with your target audience.
Next, we sort through the discovered information and distill it to the core idea and narratives of your brand. We edit and refine those storylines to help you craft a messaging framework that addresses the priorities of critical stakeholders while more importantly also meeting the informational needs (and curiosity) of your prospective buyers.
With the concepting and messaging development steps completed, it’s time to execute the brand reframing. Our team stays involved as needed to help plan and execute content development, including the build out of your new messaging guidelines and website.
4. Launch (and Post-Launch)
We’re here to support you and help make the website and relaunch as smooth and stress-free as possible. And we’re here after, too, to help you evaluate and implement the results of your efforts. You’ll keep what works best, continuing to refine and optimize your message for multiple audiences and verticals as needed.
Build a Solid Marketing Foundation With Brand Reframing
If your B2B digital marketing efforts are not producing expected results, it’s time to pivot. But don’t leap before you (really) look.
A website refresh is merely a superficial fix if your messaging issues run deeper.
Before deciding on a marketing overhaul, evaluate how well your strategy is meeting your prospective buyers’ needs. Taking the time to reframe your brand will help you stand out from the crowd and create more meaningful and effective connections with your customers.
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